Pork Spare Ribs is a very famous dish in the Philippines. Everyone knows it and loves it! It may be cooked in sooo many ways. In fact, I have several posts of adobo recipe in this food blog.
Personally, CookingLikeAPro find this dish a bit tricky to cook. It took me a while before finally being comfortable to cook adobo. For the life of me, I just couldn’t get the perfect balance of soy sauce and vinegar in my adobo. Sometimes I hit the mark; other times, it’s a total miss.
See, when I was new to cooking, I didn’t care to use measuring cups and spoons, no! I always wing it! (As if I really knew how to cook.) Sometimes this method works. Most of the times, a disaster! If you’re the type who doesn’t measure ingredients to the T, unless you really know how to cook and with a strong palate who cares not about exact measures, an adobo recipe – as simple as the flavors may be – can be a challenging one.
After several failure cooks in the kitchen and so much wasted foods, I had to give in to the call of structured cooking. I still go with my taste buds before serving a dish. I adjust the taste after putting in the exact measures of ingredients at the end of a cook. And as for this adobo recipe, I’ll give you a basis at least of how much soy sauce and vinegar to put. Adjust them after your cook according to your liking. After all, some like their adobo salty; others, tangy or vinegar-y. (Is that even a word? LOL)
Here it is, my adobo dish. I hope you like it.
Pork Spare Ribs - Adobo recipe
- 1 kg Pork spare ribs
- 5-7 cloves Garlic crushed and chopped
- 1 whole Onions chopped
- ½ cup Soy sauce
- ¼ cup Vinegar
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 50 g Butter
- ½ tbsp Whole peppercorns
- 45 pcs Dried bayleaf
- ½ cup Water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 tbsp Cooking oil
- Put oil in a heated wok.
- Saute the garlic under medium to high heat.
- Put in the onions when the garlic turns golden.
- When the onions sweat, put in the pork spare ribs.
- Fry the pork for about 15 minutes until they release fats and turn a bit charred.
- Put in the soy sauce, vinegar and whole peppercorns.
- Add the water and let it boil for another 10-15 minutes under low heat.
- Close the lid and wait until the meat tenderises. Avoid opening the wok and just let it cook.
- After 10 minutes, add in the bay leaves.
- When the pork is tender enough as per your preference, add sugar and butter.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn off the heat and keep the lid on.
- Serve with hot steamy rice.
I always say that adobo gets tastier and tastier by the day. This is so true, trust me! Enjoy your adobo with boiled egg and/or cook it with potatoes. Yumm! No potatoes for this one ‘coz the hubby is not a fan. 😛
Tips and Tricks
Cooking Methods for Tender, Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs
Okay, now comes the fun part—actually cooking these bad boys! There are a few methods for making incredibly tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs:
Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 325°F. Place the rubbed ribs meaty-side up on a wire rack set inside a foil-lined baking sheet. This allows the fat to drip down for more even cooking. Cook for 2-3 hours, until the meat is pulling away from the bone. For extra tenderness, baste them with barbecue sauce during the last 30 minutes.
Smoker Method: Get your smoker heating up to 225-250°F. Use your favorite wood chips like hickory, apple, or cherry for flavor. Place the ribs meaty-side up and let them smoke for 4-6 hours, until super tender. Spritz them with apple juice or water every hour to keep them moist.
Slow Cooker Method: This hands-off method frees up your oven or smoker. Add 1 cup water to the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the rubbed ribs meaty-side down and cook on low for 6-8 hours. The steam helps make them ultra-tender.
Grill Method: Indirect heat is key for grilling ribs. Set up a 2-zone fire, with higher heat on one side and lower heat on the other. Place the ribs over indirect low heat, close the lid, and grill for 90 minutes to 2 hours with the lid closed as much as possible. Flip and rotate the ribs every 30 minutes for even cooking.
No matter which method you use, always let the ribs rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting into them. This allows the juices to redistribute through the meat for maximum tenderness and flavor. See, rib perfection isn’t hard—just follow these steps!
A rack of ribs doesn’t need much else, but here are some of my favorite ways to serve them:
- Brush with barbecue sauce – it’s a classic!
- Serve with baked beans, coleslaw, and cornbread for a true barbecue feast.
- Toss wedges of cornbread with my spice rub for a perfect match.
- For a fun twist, top with fresh mango salsa, pineapple salsa, or pico de gallo. Sweet with a little kick.
- Offer plenty of napkins and wet wipes! Ribs can get messy.
What if my ribs aren’t getting tender enough?
First, make sure to remove the membrane before cooking. Then, use a meat thermometer—you want the ribs to reach 195-205°F internally for fall-off-the-bone texture. Also try cooking them slightly longer.
Can I use a different cut of ribs?
Pork spare ribs have the perfect meat-to-bone ratio. Baby back ribs work too but take less time to cook. Country-style ribs are very meaty so need longer cooking.
Do I really need to let them rest before cutting?
Yes! Resting allows the juices to redistribute so you don’t lose them when cutting. At least 10-15 minutes of resting time is ideal.
What wood chips are best for smoking?
For pork, I like fruit woods like apple, cherry, pecan, or hickory. They provide a slightly sweet, smoky flavor.
What sides go well with pork spare ribs?
Baked beans, coleslaw, cornbread, mac and cheese, potato salad, fries, and grilled veggies are all fantastic pairings.
Any uneaten ribs will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Cover them in foil to prevent them from drying out. Reheat in a Best Roasting Pan For Prime Rib or in the oven for a delicious leftover meal. Other way, Reheat in a 300°F oven until warmed through. They also freeze great for longer storage. Wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Well there you have it, my complete guide to making the most insanely tender, flavorful pork spare ribs ever! I hope you’ll give this recipe a try soon. Let me know if you have any other rib tips or tricks. And get ready for finger-lickin’ good barbecue! Dig in!